Message: Climate Vulnerable Forum High Level Event

November 30, 2015

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
Climate Vulnerable Forum High Level Event
30 November 2015

We may be vulnerable but we are not incapable.

The Philippines and other nations in the Climate Vulnerable Forum are committed to making the world a safer and livable place for future generations. We know how it is to become victims of a phenomenon we did not cause. We do not want our children or anyone’s children to be victims as well.

We can talk about the climate change laws we have passed and our efforts to build resilience, and the attention we have paid to increasing the share of renewable energy in our country. None of this really matters if Paris does not deliver the agreement that sets all of us on the road to a safe future.

What good is a list of achievements if Paris fails to set a target that aims for 1.5 degrees? If Paris fails to set clear long-term goals — if the outcome in Paris is mute about the absolutely undeniable need for global decarbonization by or before 2050, all the efforts of vulnerable countries will not be enough to stem the crisis.

We in the CVF have come together so that others may act with a greater sense of urgency. We are calling for more ambitious plans domestically if only to give the gift of greater ambition to those among you who are in a position to deliver not only drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions but also in urgently needed finance.

Paris must aim for nothing less than the transformation of the global economy. When we say the age of fossil fuels must end, we should see Paris as milestone that set all of us on this course.

We need Paris to deliver Loss and Damage in a way that does more than just confirm the Warsaw Mechanism. It must already set in motion steps that develop innovative finance approaches able to respond to impacts that are beyond the reach of adaptation.

We need Paris to send the strongest possible signal to the private sector — it is in the realm of sustainable investments where business is most needed.

We must penalize coal enterprises for the pollution they engender. Let Paris signal the shift of finance to clean, reliable, accessible and affordable renewable energy.

The CVF welcomes other vulnerable nations that wish to become part of the Forum and we ask the developed countries to support us. It is no longer a philosophy of ‘to each his own’, and not only a matter of economy, or policy. It is an issue of humanity and conscience.

The truth is, there are no borders; we are all connected and we suffer the consequences of climate change together. This is not the time for restraint; this is not the time to wag the finger of indictment. This is the moment for collective and urgent climate action.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, who has been most supportive in our initiatives to strengthen resilience of the various institutions in my country. You have ably led the UNISDR in empowering nations, business, individuals and the whole of society to build safer communities. I thank you for the trust given to me as Global Champion for Resilience.

May the Road to Paris lead the world to a brighter and resilient future.